Author Topic: Reusing wax from candles  (Read 677 times)

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omnimirage

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Reusing wax from candles
« on: June 22, 2018, 10:20:37 am »
I was gifted some beeswax candles. The wick in them burned strongly and quickly, leaving behind a great blob of beeswax afterwards.

Should I just dispose of this? Or can I melt this, and get my own wicks and make candles out of them again? Could I melt it down into a block, and they give it to people who are wanting a block of beeswax for things like furniture polishing, or to wax plastic foundation with?

Offline apisbees

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2018, 01:45:30 pm »
Melt it back down. it was the wrong wick used for beeswax. but the wax is still OK
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 07:17:52 am »
There are hundreds of uses for beeswax.  Here in the U.S., during pioneer days and the Great Depression, people would have saved that and used that for all kinds of things.  Quilters like to coat their thread to keep it from tangling, and gardeners coat tools to keep them from rusting.  If you have enough, you can melt it and pour it into 1 ounce (or metric equivalent)  blocks to sell.  Lip balm doesn't require much beeswax.  I don't know about using wax from an unknown source for cosmetics though.  I took similar beeswax, added essential oils and made pleasant smelling cubes for melting and making the house smell good.

Offline efmesch

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 12:26:17 pm »
No reason in the world for not re-cycling the unused wax.   :eusa_clap:

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 12:17:44 am »
There are hundreds of uses for beeswax.  Here in the U.S., during pioneer days and the Great Depression, people would have saved that and used that for all kinds of things.  Quilters like to coat their thread to keep it from tangling, and gardeners coat tools to keep them from rusting. 

I have a cousin who plays the role of blacksmith in a small town that recreates the past.  He uses some of my wax to "finish" his iron work. 
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 04:03:27 pm »
I hadn't heard that one before.  Add another to the list!

omnimirage

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 04:22:45 am »
Since I'm not certain that it's pure beeswax, it seems unwise to risk using them to coat beeframes. I suppose the best thing to do would be to make more candles out of them.

What could have caused the wick to be poor for it? It was rather thick, does thick wicks burn too quickly for beeswax? I have a bunch more of these candles that I was going to give away, but I'm unsure what to do with them now. Some of them are made in the shape of animals or in glass containers, it's unfortunate that they seem to have been created poorly.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 08:39:15 am »
Riverbee has written, in detail, about candlemaking.  I have copied and pasted her information about wicks and wick size.  I have also added the link to this thread.
Riverbee writes:


les, use square cotton (bleached) braided wicking. this stuff is made specifically for beeswax candles and all the suppliers carry it. the proper size of the wick depends on the diameter of the candle, and also if you are using a mold or pouring into a glass container.  AND how clean your wax is. 

i use larrys (Busy Bee Candle Supply) guideline on wick sizing, it has worked for me:

Busy Bee Wick Sizing Chart

 Wick Sizing Chart

Wick Size       Recommended       
        Candle Diameter

4/0                  tealight               
3/0                    votive                 
2/0                0.8" taper               
1/0                0.9" taper               
# 1                1" - 1.5"                 
# 2                1.5" - 2"               
# 3                2" - 2.5"                 
# 4               2.5" - 2.8"               
# 6               2.8" - 3.2"               
# 7               3.2" - 3.5"           

or if you want specifics and some confusion, Atkins and Pearce:

Bleached Square Wick

the above link is a good guide when using bleached square wicking for determining wick size for your candles. i have also attached a pdf file.

Wick Selection Guide
scroll down to 'select your wax type' and click on it.

also most suppliers have and recommend wick sizing for any mold you purchase from them.  all are just guidelines.  the neat thing is if you are using a mold, and you light it and it doesn't burn properly, (or you muff it up........ :D) you can melt the wax back down again and try a different wick size for the mold you are using.

beeswax has a higher viscosity...........hmmmm, like apis and jen said............it is a thicker liquid and requires a thicker wick than other types of candles to burn properly.

beeswax..........i use nothing but cappings wax, and if you think your wax is clean even though you have filtered it, not so, and this will affect the finished product even though you may have the proper size wick. i filter all my wax through a solar melter 2 to 3 times. when i melt the wax down to make candles, i melt the brick down (double boiler method) in a large melting pitcher. when the wax is melted, i pour it into another smaller melting pitcher lined on top with nylon filter material to filter again before i pour into a mold, and temp about 160 degrees F. 

if you are pouring tealights or votives or glass container, your wicks must be primed. (coated in beeswax). you can purchase pre primed wick tabs. i make my own. this is just simply taking the wick material and dipping it in molten beeswax, hanging it to cool and straighten, then crimping the amount i need onto a wick tab.

if you are pouring pillars or tapers, the entire wick through the candle does not need to be primed, just the tip of the wick, if you desire, not necessary.  you can do this by pouring the wax down the wick (and should be anyway for any mold or container) or later dipping the tip briefly in melted beeswax. i don't. the candle will burn just fine.

also, about bleached cotton braiding............this braiding has a 'V' pattern in it, you want to place the wicking so that this 'V' pattern points with the 'V' upright in the candle, not the pointy end of the 'V' upside down like this ..........^

hope this helps, if you all would like, next time i pour candles in the next couple weeks, i can maybe photograph how i do it step by step to help out a little?

https://worldwidebeekeeping.com/forum/index.php?topic=4759.msg62579#msg62579

She has also included a pdf file to down load that is filled with technical information.

Offline apisbees

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 01:54:59 pm »
As Baker posted from Riverbees research and experience, the wick size has to match the candle so the only way to know is to test a few different sizes (mass) of candles and see how the different sizes burns. If they used one size of wick for all the different sizes of candles. Also look to see if there is a thin metal filament in the wick. some wicks have Magnesium filament in them to make them burn hotter to burn poorer waxes that give of too much smoke at cooler temps. if they are this type of a wick it will not work with bees wax.
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omnimirage

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 03:06:17 am »
Thanks for the great information guys. I'm going to need to spend some time digesting all this information. I haven't been taught to use imperial metric, I believe # 1 refers to one inch diameter, but what does 1/0 refer to?

There doesn't appear to be any metal filament in the wick, but it's a little difficult to tell.

I decided to show some photos. The melted beeswax that's on the plate, was what came after using two candles.

https://imgur.com/a/UWp5jEt

Offline apisbees

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 04:02:48 am »
It looks to be pure beeswax but it is awful dirty. the wick looks to be a little on the large size. But the candles that dark has little sale appeal. I would melt them down and filter and bleach the wax to lighten it and start again. or melt it into a block and trade it for foundation If you need some. 
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 11:23:57 am »
the wick is much too large for the candle. beeswax candles, properly filtered/cleaned and wicked properly should not leave a puddle of wax.

"Some of them are made in the shape of animals or in glass containers"

beeswax candles made in the shape of ornaments or animals are not practical to burn, and you will be hard pressed to wick them properly. i would melt these down. glass containers are also a challenge. beeswax burns differently in a container than it does in a free standing candle.

"I believe # 1 refers to one inch diameter, but what does 1/0 refer to?"

#1 does not refer to one inch diameter, and 1/0 or 1 aught; both refer to the size of the wick braiding. in aught sizes, the larger the number, the smaller the wick, 6/0 through 1/0. 6/0 is the smallest wick. in #1 through #12, the larger the number, the larger the wick.

your wax looks to be pretty dirty, and as apis said, not real attractive for candles, unless maybe for tealights, votives and emergency candles.

there is an art and science to producing beeswax candles.  your wax must be very clean, and choosing a wick for your candle depends on how clean that wax is and the size (diameter) of the candle. this is what defines success for the candle to burn properly. if your wax is dirty, it will clog the wick and the candle won't burn properly. too large of a wick will create a big puddle of wax (as in your pix), and too small of a wick will burn out.
some candlemakers try to compensate for dirty wax by using larger wick sizes.  any beeswax candle made with dirty wax will not burn properly, irregardless of the larger wick.

i use nothing but bleached square braid wick and follow the atkins pearce recommendations/guidlines on choosing a wick size for making candles. the chart is here:

Atkins and Pearce Bleached Square Wick

the rate chart is helpful for me because it gives info on what your flame height should be and what the wax pool should be in a finished candle.

the wick suggestions for sizing is self explanatory; recommendations for wick size based on the diameter of the candle you are making, and again what the pool diameter should be for the candle.

 


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omnimirage

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 12:57:55 am »
How interesting thanks. The candles are quite dirty, they looked like they were sitting in a box, collecting dust for a good decade.

I feel as if I can clean them with a wet paper towel. Might this aid them in burning properly? I wasn't aware that lighter coloured wax candles are more desirable.

Offline riverbee

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Re: Reusing wax from candles
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2018, 01:28:11 am »
omni, it's not about the dust and dirt that has collected on the candles, it is about how clean the beeswax is and how much honey, dirt and whatever else is trapped in the beeswax that has not been filtered out.  cleaning the exterior will not help them to burn properly.  only very clean wax and proper wick size for the type of candle will get you desired results. clean wax; without it, your candles will not burn properly and you WILL get frustrated trying to figure out why....... ;D
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